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Indiana State Sycamores vs. Loyola of Chicago Ramblers - 1/1/14

Loyola of Chicago Ramblers (5-7) at Indiana State Sycamores (9-3)

College Basketball: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 3:05 pm (Hulman Center)

The Line: Indiana State Sycamores -15.5 -- Over/Under: TBA See the Latest Odds

TV: None

The Loyola Ramblers will embark on their inaugural season in the Missouri Valley Conference with a visit to the Hullman Center to take on the Indiana State Sycamores on Wednesday afternoon.

Loyola looks to steal their 1st road victory after starting out winless in the 2013 portion of the season. Leading the way for the Ramblers is Freshman Milton Doyle, a Chicago native, who has made his way into the starting line-up with ease and is a natural scorer at 16.5 points per game. He is helped on the offensive end by Junior Christian Thomas who is also their leading rebounder. Loyola does not struggle from the field at 48%, but they allow opponents to do just as well, and that has led to problems, especially letting teams back into games in which they had big leads at the half.

Indiana State Sycamores vs. Loyola of Chicago Ramblers - 1/1/14

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Sycamores are also quite a proficient shooting team, hitting nearly 50% from the field and have some long-distance bombers that hit at a 45% clip from downtown. The team has a good blend of young players along with leaders such as All-Valley point guard Jake Odum (Senior). He does a little bit of everything, and has done it consistently since his freshman season. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists per game. Junior forward Justin Gant and Senior juco guard Manny Arop give the offense a boost. They have also been successful at limiting their opponents to a low 3-point field goal percentage (35%).

This will be a serious test for Loyola and they had better be prepared for a war. Indiana State has played really well lately and realize the need to get off to a good start in the Valley, especially with #10 ranked Wichita State in the league who they need to keep pace with. I’ll take my chances with Indiana State to get the easy win and cover as they are rolling and Loyola is reeling on the road. This may be a tough one to call though as there is not any history between these schools in the same league.

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